Tuesday, March 04, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 63: Reed Richards' Nega-Gamma Gun

The Incredible Hulk is on the loose!

No, no, no, not like that. But wouldn't it be cool if the Hulk played bass in a Canadian power rock band?

Perhaps I oughta have said the Hulk is on a rampage, and altho' we need Sue Richards to describe it (because geez, y'can't show that sorta thing in a comic book), the Green Goliath has just tossed Daredevil against an army jet! You know, Daredevil, I don't care how award-winning your series is, that's gotta hurt. Luckily Reed Richards has brought his handy-dandy Nega-Gamma Gun! And remember, folks, when Nega-Gamma Guns are outlawed, only criminals will have Nega-Gamma Guns! And, I suppose, Reed Richards would have one too.

Panels from Incredible Hulk (1968 series) #153 (July 1972), script by Roy Thomas and Gary Friedrich, pencils by Dick Ayers and Herb Trimpe, inks by John Severin, letters by Jean Izzo

The Nega-Gamma Gun is, according to either The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe or Jane's Guide to KirbyTech Weaponry, a high-powered firearm that releases blasts of concentrated gamma radiation. And as we all know, Reed is quite fond of the concept of giving enemies more of the power that makes them unstoppable. Really, where did Reed study physics...oh yeah, the nation's top technological university: State College. Well, that explains a lot, doesn't it? Oh, anyway, as Reed explains (once again after the fact, mind you) that he can drain gamma energy from the Hulk using the Nega-Gamma Gun, it actually does work. It works well enough for the Hulk to do a comedy pratfall right on his face while he and Ben Grimm banter. Those two, i tell ya! Nothing gets in the way of their banter.

Johnny Storm arrives just in time to stand at the edge of the panel and say "Hey, guys, what's goin' on? Sorry I'm late. Is that the Hulk?"

Also, I'd like to point out that the S.H.I.E.L.D. L.M.D.s* are actually the green army men from Toy Story.

Later on in the same comic book, Mr. District Attorney Foggy Nelson drops in on the Baxter Building by kind permission of Daredevil magazine to watch Reed tinkering again with the Nega-Gamma Gun in the hopes of refining it to the point where it can be used to change the Hulk back into Bruce Banner. Or David Banner, for that sake. You know, i'm thinking at this point they'd probably settle for Bob Banner, and if you remember him, you'll remember anybody.

Later still, Matt Murdock wears a green suit and he's the only one in the entire realm of comic books I'll forgive for wearing a green suit. "Foggy, Heather, I'm off to court. Does my new brown suit look all right?" "Oh...oh, yeah, Matt! (snicker)" "You look...you look great, Matt...(giggle)...just great!" Also, Reed Richards can't just the courtroom doors. Show-off.

Reed explains that the Nega-Gamma Gun will control the raging spirit that dwells within Dr. Banner and convert him back into a scientist without even a touch of green around the temples. That's all very well and good, but I'd just like to ask one question, if it please the court...how the Sam Scratch did Reed get that gun inside that box through the network of air vents he entered by?

That works about as well as you could expect it to. Oh, smooth move, Reed.

A completely different D.A. (this comic is just chock-full of 'em!) accuses Reed Richards, with pointed finger yet, of being a bungling birdbrain and a bubble-headed booby. (He's late for his Dr. Smith audition, I think.) And Matt Murdock suggests that maybe, just maybe, Reed did that on purpose to let the Hulk escape, that maybe Reed had intended this all along, that maybe Reed isn't just a menace II IV society in a blue rubber suit. Reed Richards, Daredevil suggests, is a hero.

Ehhhhh, prob'bly not.

*Support Haulers In Exceptional Lifting Detail, Little Marine Dudes.

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